Tag Archives | traditional publishing

Never Surrender and Elana Johnson

Yay! Surrender by Elena Johnson releases June 5th!

Description: The thrilling and seductive sequel to Possession puts love on the line in a dystopian struggle for independent thought.

Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control… 


Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi. 

Thank you to Simon Pulse for the advanced copy!

I could talk about Surrender and how much I loved this book, the writing. I fell in love with the characters: Raine and Gunner. Both of them have been the most enjoyable YA characters I’ve read in a while. Elana does an incredible job in drawing us into the story: we live, breathe and cry with them.

Of course, it’s nice to see Jag and Vi too.

I enjoyed Possession but Surrender blows the first book out of the water. Can I say that? Well, I did. I didn’t want the story to end. Some of the passages took my breath away.

I could talk about all that but I’m not going to.

I want to talk about Elana. She’s always been so giving on her blog. She’s down to earth and never pretended to be someone she’s not. She got published and still acted like a normal human being. She’s one of the organizers of WriteOnCon, which takes a huge amount of time – I can imagine. Basically, we’ve seen her everywhere.

So if you want a breathless read with incredible characters and writing then buy Surrender. It releases Tuesday!

And don’t you want to find out what happened to Jag and Vi….?

But wait you didn’t read Possession?

That’s okay. Surrender is a companion novel and you can read it without having read Possession. It helps but not necessary!

Elana organized a cool blogfest next week. Sign up on her blog to post about a time you never Surrendered. And you have to read her blog post about Fear. Elana at her best – open and honest.

Purchase Surrender at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Who are some of your favorite YA couples?


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My decision to self publish.

I’d love if any of you would be willing to post about my book on the release day, Monday, May 7th! If you like spy thrillers with a touch of humor than I’d be happy to send you a complimentary e-arc in exchange for an honest review. Or you can do both. Just fill out the google form. Thanks!

Click here for the google form.

My decision to self publish.

Let me tell you. This decision wasn’t easy.

Last spring I took notice of certain blogs – Konrath, Kris Rusch, Nathan Bransford, Bob Mayer, Dean Wesley Smith, Passive Guy. And a tiny spark was ignited.

Nathan dropped the fact that a lot of midlist authors could probably make more money self-publishing. That kind of hit me over the head pretty hard.

A few more weeks passed. Excitement built. And once I decided to self publish, my creativity rocketed. #writerheaven

But then an agent requested my manuscript and she loved the first chapter.

SCREECH! That’s the sound of the self-publishing brakes being pressed to the ground. And the doubts rolled in. I mean self publish? Really? Because the only way to really make it is to have an agent and a book deal. Right? Self-publishing was only for the desperate and the wannabes.

For years I wanted that agent. I craved that book deal. I dreamed of seeing my book in stores.

But I could change my dreams.

I could receive validation through sales and reaching readers.

I could let go of my ego.

I could move forward instead of spinning my wheels researching agents and writing that holy grail of the perfect query letter.

Kris Rusch wrote a post. Big publishers were making lots of money off ebooks. But guess who wasn’t making as much?

Yeah, you guessed it. The authors.

I know there are some wonderful dream-like publishing stories with NY out there. But I was beginning to understand that for most writers – it wasn’t like that.

And after lots of research, I seemed to fit the bill for self publishing. This wasn’t my first manuscript. In fact, I had three, four, five or six but who’s counting? I didn’t mind the extra work.

So in November, I pulled my manuscripts from the agent and started the process.

I didn’t make the decision out of a place of desperation or thinking I could get rich quick. It was an even balance between bad contract clauses, low ebook royalties, lack of shelf life, the narrowing market, and the thrill of moving forward with my career.

Let me tell you. The decision wasn’t easy. Yet, at the same time, it was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made.

I am of the point of view that self-publishing isn’t for everyone. Only you can decide which publishing route is for you. The terrific thing is that we have options. Options people! That is something to be excited about!

If you have any questions about my decision, ask away in the comments!

Don’t forget to enter to win a pre-order of Pretty Crooked and an ebook of Watched.

photo credit

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Preparing for change.

First, read these links. I must say I love seeing an industry professional be honest. Rachelle Gardner takes three posts to compare the bankruptcy of Kodak to the publishing industry. The questions underneath are discussed more in depth on Rachelle’s blog. Click on the links.

Do you know what business you’re in?

1. We need to correctly identify the business we’re in.

2. We can’t be afraid of cannibalizing our own businesses in the short run to make progress in the long run.

3. We should find new ways to generate revenue while serving consumers’ wants and needs.

Do you know your customer?

4. We can acknowledge that the customer has considerable impact on the market.

5. We shouldn’t underestimate the public’s willingness to adapt to new ways of doing things.

6. Focus on our consumer’s needs and wants, rather than the perpetuation of our own products and business models.

Are we ready for change?

7. The time is now (or three years ago) to begin changing and preparing for future more cataclysmic changes?

8. If we’re not flexible and open to change, our business will be overtaken by upstarts.

9. It’s crucial we stay well-informed on technology and consumer trends, and develop plans to effectively respond to the ever-changing information.

10. We must keep asking questions, and do our best to make sure we’re asking the right ones.

And what we must remember is that it’s not only the publishers that must prepare and change for future events. What about the content providers? You know, us, the writers, the authors.

I’ve already had to make changes, and I’m continuing to think about the future and what else possibly might need to change.

What do you think?

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Marketing strategies for traditional vs self publishing – is there a difference?

Two posts yesterday really got me thinking:

Jody Hedlund blogged about the effectiveness of free books on sales.

For some indie authors it has made a huge difference, shooting their books up on the charts and creating lots of sales for their other books. Or at the very least getting their book titles on the virtual shelf, on bestseller lists, so readers can see them.

But maybe that’s not as important for traditionally pubbed authors. Maybe readers are less likely to make the jump from free or 2.99 to 10 dollars than they are from free to 2.99. What do you think?

If that’s true, then offering free books could be a wiser strategy for the self published author.

The YA Highway blogged about authors disappearing from social media after they have book deals or are published. The comments show a variety of opinions.

So many different perspectives.

The NY best selling author probably doesn’t need to be online as much, well, because their career is pretty much established. Though fans love it when they do participate.

The midlist author, who is barely selling through, probably should be online, interacting, friending, promoting, being themselves and attracting new readers to their blogs and hopefully their books. Especially when their books aren’t in bookstores anymore or never were. Why wouldn’t they do everything possible to get their names out there?

Even if it’s not their thing or comfort zone.

Even if they don’t feel they have the time.

There are so many posts about how to approach social media so that it doesn’t eat up writing time or family time.

The self published author’s career might possibly die a slow death without the author braving social media, leading the charge, getting out there, not spamming, but interacting.

Of course, there are always exceptions. I can think of several. Because as we know social media doesn’t mean automatic success. The book haz to be good.

At one point in time, it could’ve been said that our only responsibility as authors was to write the next book. Do you still feel that’s true? Again, I’d say it depends on what perspective you’re coming from.

And what would happen if a traditionally published author promoted and marketed like a self-published author? If they truly felt the complete responsibility for the success of their book? Would they still retreat after being published? Would it make any difference? Or do they truly need to market in completely different ways?

Here are Angela Scott’s sure fire suggestions for book promotion for all kinds of publishing, in case you missed it.

What do you all think? (Of course, feel free to use the argument that social media is still so new that we don’t know what actually works besides writing a great book.)

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The new slush pile.

My to-be-read pile grows weekly. I make a dent in it every week but then it grows some more.

  • I make a random ebook purchase.
  • I grab a book or two from the library.
  • Books arrive in the mail that I’ve won online.
  • I make a bigger purchase of new hard covers. (I always read these.)
  • I download free traditional ebooks, usually the first in a series.
  • I buy used books for a penny plus shipping off Amazon.

The hard truth is that I don’t read them all – even ones that at some point I couldn’t wait to read.

Samples that I enjoyed build up on my Kindle so I remember to buy them later when I need a good read.

In this new digital age, the slush pile is transferring to the reader – and this includes both traditionally and self published books.

More than ever we need to hook our reader from our premise, to the blurb, to the cover, to the first page and the first chapter.

For me, there’s a crack on the first page and it’s either wide open or it’s just a sliver.

Sometimes I sense just a sliver of emotion, voice, and story but I try. I push my way across the page, hoping to squeeze into the book and fall in love. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen.

Other times, the emotions are raw, the voice captivating, the words powerful. Maybe a question is raised with a strong mystery; and I fall headfirst into that wide open crack and don’t look back.

How do you determine which book to pluck from your pile?

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